Follow Friday is a Twitter thing but I'm going to try something new: recommending a podcast each week in the hope that more people I know will start listening to podcasts ... and in turn, discover cool ones and recommend them to me.
Podcasting, as I blogged about last spring when I was at the Transom Story Workshop, is a thing now. And getting bigger, according to these recent stories in the Washington Post and Fast Company. There are a couple reasons for this. One, smartphones mean you can basically use podcasts to turn your phone into a transistor radio ... with custom content. Two, the This American Life generation is coming of age and doing all kinds of interesting things. But podcasting is not limited to public radio. Publications of all kinds, print and web, produce podcasts. So do individuals, like comedians, and scholars in nearly every field.
So podcasts ... there has to be one for everyone out there and for some of us there are more than we could possibly listen to. My first weekly recommendation is a relative newbie by a public radio veteran: Slate's The Gist with Mike Pesca. This is a relatively simple concept -- a half-hour talk show, with interviews. It's all on Pesca and fortunately he's really good, the ideal media interlocutor from my point of view. Generation X and proud of it. Liberal but not righteous. Regular guy enough to be into sports but wonky enough to take politics and public affairs seriously. In other words, I'm happy to listen to him for half an hour a day and I'm either enlightened or entertained or at best, both.
Give it a listen. If it's not for you, my apologies. I'll have another recommendation next Friday.
If you don't know how to listen to a podcast, the easiest way is to subscribe on your smartphone's podcast app. If you don't play that way, you can subscribe via iTunes. Give it a try! It's free! Or, you could watch this charming youtube video from the King of All Audio, Ira Glass: